Neither snow nor…

Carnival spirit survives frigid conditions

         

TIM ISBELL//SUN HERALD Gaines Cleveland, right, gets ready to throw a snowball at Nelson Cleveland while having a snowball fight at Paul B. Johnson State Park on Friday. Both boys are from Gulfport and were part of a Coast caravan to find snow.

GULFPORT

There won’t be any snow falling on Mardi Gras parades today in South Mississippi, but it will be cold and breezy.

The weather system that moved through the state Friday brought up to 5 inches of snow in the central part of Mississippi, and even the Coast saw trace amounts of the white stuff.

It began raining late Thursday afternoon and continued throughout the night and most of Friday. Many areas saw a mix of rain, sleet and snow. Cities along the Coast got up to two inches of rain with higher amounts in some areas.

While the wintry mix may be gone, it left behind even colder temperatures, and most shelters remained open Friday night. The shelters in Jackson County also will be open tonight. If necessary, shelters in Harrison and Hancock counties also will be open. The highs this weekend will be in the low- to mid-50s, and the lows will be in the upper 20s to lower 30s.

Carrie Duncan, meteorologist with WLOX-TV, said ice and wet roads shouldn’t be a problem this morning.

“Once the temperatures go up, we shouldn’t see any more ice on the roads,” she said.

Much of the state was under a winter storm advisory for most of the day Friday, and snow and ice were expected in most areas. All of the school districts in South Mississippi canceled classes, as well as universities and community colleges.

The city of D’Iberville shut down its offices, and Harrison County closed at noon.

Gov. Haley Barbour declared a state of emergency and closed state offices in Jackson.

The ice and snow weren’t as bad as expected, and there were a fewer than 100 power outages along the Coast. Statewide, about 26,000 customers lost power as snow and ice caused limbs to fall on power lines.

Many airlines canceled flights Friday, but all flights were back on schedule for today.

No roads were closed because of the inclement weather, but Jackson County does have sand trucks available throughout the weekend if necessary.

The opening of the soccer fields in Hurley still is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. today. All Mardi Gras parades also will roll today.

By MELISSA M. SCALLAN – mmscallan@sunherald.com

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